How do we stop this?
On Sunday night, in a part of Washington that's not considered an especially bad section of town, we had a man get out of his vehicle, approach a car and fire a shot into that vehicle, wounding a 24-year-old Washington man. A day earlier, a 19-year-old woman tells police that she was standing on North Main Street when she was shot in the elbow as she stood next to disabled vehicle. The details on both of these incidents are sketchy, and the woman who was shot on Saturday had been charged just recently with giving false information to police in an unrelated incident. In August, a woman with the same name was driving a car in Canton Township in which a man was accused of having nearly 80 packets of heroin and a bag of suspected crack. Draw your own conclusions. But whatever the circumstances, the issue is that people are being shot on the streets of Washington with an alarming frequency of late. The level of street violence here is not as bad as in Pittsburgh, but it's clearly getting worse. Washington Mayor Sonny Spossey notes that many times, the victims of the shootings know their assailants but refuse to cooperate with police. Said the mayor, "They won't tell us because they are either afraid or want to get even themselves. Unfortunately, this is the way things have evolved. It used to be that people would get into a fight, punch each other and be done with it. Now, they want to shoot someone." I don't particularly care whether a couple of crackheads try to take one another out, but the day is coming when an innocent person - maybe a pregnant woman or a small child - is going to get between the gunman and his or her intended victim. I don't know what the answer is to this problem. Any suggestions?